Thursday, 9 April 2009

Gracie Gets Her Wings

One of the most heartbreaking things in this lifetime is having to say goodbye to one of our children. As parents, we just are not conditioned to think that our children will leave this plane of existance before us. My own Todd lost his eldest son, Peter, when Peter was but 18 months old. Todd was not a member of the church at the time, and nobody had any answers for his broken and aching heart. A heart that wanted to know why . . . that begged to know where his son was . . . that wanted some assurance that he had not lost his son forever. It was many years before those questions that had burnt themselves into his heart were answered, and Todd was able to find the peace that he so needed to feel about this devastating loss . . .

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Todd and I have both come to know that there is a special place in Heaven for a child that passes on before the age of accountability, and still in their innocence. There is great comfort in knowing that these special spirits go right back into the presence of our Heavenly Father, and that one day, as parents, we will have the opportunity to bring them up. There is hope . . .

My heart was recently touched by the spirit of a very special little girl. Her name was Gracie Gledhill. She was born on March 20, 2008 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). What followed were months of hospital treatments, surgeries and a roller coaster ride of emotions, and heartaching moments for her parents and family. Sadly Gracie lost her fight on March 2, 2009. Although her little heart was not able to survive a lifetime here on earth, it managed to touch a world of hearts the world over, and she will never be forgotten. Not by her family, and not by countless others that were touched by her courage, and beautiful spirit, and by inspiration she gave to us all for the short time she was here . . . and by the courage and strong example of her family . . .

The example of Gracie continues to tug on my heartstrings. It's as if she is trying to tell me something . . . in my mind I see a beautiful little girl, free from the burden of pain and tears, safe in her Heavenly Father's arms, watching and waiting and loving still the family that waits below, resting in the promise that Families ARE Forever and they can be together again. There is joy. There is peace. There is comfort. There is love. Gracie has her wings . . . and she is soaring beyond the chains and heartache of this veil of tears. I have felt their soft whisper on my praying brow. Can't you feel them brush against you too?

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

~Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1905-2004

Gracie has her wings . . .


Lisa said...

Beautiful. Absolutely Beautiful, I had to shed a tear for Gracie who is swept in the thousand winds that blow and in each and every lovely thing...

Oh wow, you really touched my heart tonight my friend...

Kath said...


Vania said...

Ahh, you artwork is just lovely, so adorable :)

Bonnie said...

Marie I love this post. It is so close to my heart with our little granddaughter, Hazel, struggling with spina bifada. She is 18 months old and been through so much. She will never walk with any medical technology known today but I once read this quote..."Who needs legs when you have wings?"
When Hazel was born her two year old sister couldn't say Hazel so she called her "Baby Halo!" The name could not have been more fitting, she lights up a room as though she does have a halo. Hazel is having respiratory problems that will require a major surgery soon. We pray unceasingly for this little girl. I love this beautiful and comforting. God bless Gracie's family!

Grammy Staffy said...

How send this to the Gledhills. I think they will be touched that you would paint this lovely picture for them.

You are special!!! Love, Lura

Billy Coffey said...

These words truly touched me. No life, however short, is wasted so long as it touches the hearts of others. And even the briefest light is enough to chase away the darkness.

The hope we have is something to always cherish.

And your artwork is amazing.

Happy Easter to you, Marie!

Mr Lee said...

So much prettiness.Your blog is lovely.Good luck!Welcome to our blog

Tracy said...

How cute it she...look at those cheeks...and love the lolly! :o) Wonderful words too...beautiful, Marie! ((HUGS))